Working on Accountable Talk and Text-to-Text Connections in First Grade Literacy

Melissa Pedraza, First Grade Monolingual Inclusion
P.S. 150 , Queens, NY

Melissa Pedraza

This website was developed by the National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching (NCREST) at Teachers College, and can be accessed at the following URL:


(this link was valid on 8/25/06)

This site documents the challenges of trying to help a class of students with diverse learning needs make "text-to-text connections" and learn how to use "accountable talk," two key aspects of early literacy instruction. The site focuses on the work of Melissa Pedraza, a fourth year teacher, in a team-taught 1st Grade Monolingual Inclusion classroom at P.S. 150 in Queens, NY, the model school for inclusion with collaborative team teaching in Region 4 of the New York City Public Schools. This site also captures some of Melissa's work with Leslie Richmond, a teacher mentor with the UFT Teacher Center. This site addresses one week near the end of the year, after Melissa and her co-teacher, Nicole McCabe, have implemented most elements of the balanced literacy curriculum used throughout their school and many other schools in the region.

Over the course of the year, students in the class have moved from reading simple picture books to reading chapter books. However, after viewing videotapes of her classroom for National Board Certification, Melissa has grown concerned about the fact that students often directed their comments to her and not to each other. In response, over the week-long period highlighted on this website, Melissa is trying to help her students do three things: use "accountable talk," make "text-to-text connections," between the problems and feelings in one book to those the students have read about in other books, and make connections between books and their own lives.